It's tempting to look to technology to save us from our problems. In fact, it's human nature. Without innovation, we'd still be bashing sticks and rocks together.
Innovation is important, but it needs to be the right kind of innovation. What if you're too early? Early adopters of new technology may get a leg up on their competition, or they may become bogged down by challenges in implementation and management. The learning curve may be too steep. The cost may be too high.
That new tech might stink. You don't want to be the one company using laserdisc or Betamax while VHS takes off.
The desire to innovate comes from a simple desire to improve. It is tempting to turn to technology, the Next Big Thing, to improve our business performance, but it's not always the right answer.
Your business is its people. Whether you're a sole proprietor or employ hundreds, remove the people and your business doesn't exist. A human is the ultimate source of innovation — a decidedly low-tech answer to complex problems.
We're advocates for automation, but there's a time and a place. If there are issues with your business processes, or with your culture — the way your people interact with your customers, or with each other, or with your product — then any investment in high-tech solutions will not deliver the results you need.
Instead, we propose a simple starting point: ask your people (including yourself!) if they're happy and if they have what they need to succeed. Do the same for your customers.
When you start with people, no matter where you may end up, you've started right. People first. Tech after.